Perth recycling businesses face court for allegedly failing to pay workers

15 February 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operator of two Perth recycling businesses for allegedly failing to pay five employees for work they had performed.

Facing court is Yokine man Brendan Raymond Leppard.

Also facing court are Blacklight Investments Pty Ltd, which Mr Leppard solely owns, and Proplas Industries Pty Ltd, of which he is the major shareholder.

Through the two companies, Mr Leppard has operated plastics-recycling businesses trading under the names Peak Recycling and Excel Plastics.

Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Perth allege Mr Leppard was centrally involved in the companies failing to pay five employees a total of $3228 they were entitled to.

It is alleged the employees, including two from non-English speaking backgrounds, performed labouring work for between 16 and 73 hours at recycling depots in a number of Perth suburbs during 2009 and 2010.

However, it is alleged that except for a $20 payment made to one of the employees, they were not paid any wages.

It is also alleged that Mr Leppard was involved in Blacklight Investments and Proplas Industries failing to comply with requests from Fair Work inspectors to supply employment records.

Under workplace laws, employers must keep employment records for employees and former employees and provide them to inspectors upon request.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the employer’s failure to rectify the alleged underpayments was a key factor in the decision to prosecute.

There were allegedly five breaches of workplace law. Mr Leppard faces maximum penalties of $6600 per breach and his companies each face maximum penalties of $33,000 per breach.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for the companies to rectify the underpayments and to provide inspectors with the records requested. A hearing has been scheduled for June 7.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au. For translations call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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